Boracay, the country’s top touristdestination, was closed for six months of massive rehabilitation beginningApril 2018; it reopened on October of that year. Tourism establishments are “badly hit”by the pandemic, said Elena Brugger, chapter president of the PhilippineChamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Boracay. Business in Boracay Island issuffering due to the COVID-19 threat. Malay’s Mayor Froliba Bautista saidtourist arrivals have gone down by 40 percent. Just this March 3, the Malay LGUreiterated that Boracay Island – and the whole municipality for that matter –remained free from COVID-19. Those social media posts were “fakeinformation”, stressed the municipal government of Malay. The 172,695 tourists in Januarydropped to 103,834 in the following month, Bautista said. For several years now, the island’stop visitors are South Koreans. However, the government recently imposed apartial ban on tourists from the northern part of South Korea that has been hitby COVID-19. Had the visit pushed through, it wouldhave been the President’s first trip to Boracay since the island reopened totourists in October 2018. To show that the Philippines remaineda safe place to visit despite COVID-19, President Rodrigo Duterte had plannedto kick off his tour of the country’s top tourist spots in Boracay Island onMarch 12. But the Palace announced its cancellation on March 11. The Malay LGU urged the public torefrain from sharing false and unverified information on social media. The Philippines stands to lose anestimated of P42.9 billion in tourism receipts this first quarter of 2020 dueto the COVID-19 scare. (With a reportfrom the Philippine News Agency/PN) “The effect economically is not goodbecause no people, no business,” she said. ILOILO City – There is no truth tosocial media posts that Boracay Island would be closed once again but this timedue to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to thelocal government unit (LGU) of Malay, Aklan. Prior to Boracay’s rehabilitation,Duterte likened the island to a cesspool.